I love to travel with friends but when there is something in particular I want to see or I have a few days free, I may just go it alone. Here’s some of my tips for enjoying yourself solo
- Don’t have breakfast in the hotel. It’s usually expensive and the choice is very limited. Find a nice cafe and enjoy people watching instead.
- It is easy to use your phone or a book as a crutch when eating alone and I am sometimes guilty of this. However, I do my best to always try to be present in that moment – enjoy your food, take it slow, have a conversation with the waiting staff. Just be.
- Look! I get really frustrated by tourists who only see things through their camera lens. You may want to capture some memories, but LOOK first. If you go to somewhere like the Louvre, look up at the architecture and the ceilings not just the big hitter paintings. Beauty is everywhere. You are on your own so don’t rush the moment.
- Stay safe. If I arrive late in a city, I am going to take a taxi and suck up the cost. I don’t want to be wandering around with luggage and with my maps app open on my phone in an unfamiliar area.
- Invest in a mobile phone charger. I learnt my lesson with a flat phone battery whilst abroad. A dash back to my hotel before the phone died and I got lost, was stressful enough but having to wait for the phone to charge before I could go off exploring again was frustrating!
- Plan. Where I can, I buy tickets for any large museums, sights, events etc before I leave. This helps structure the day, plan your route and also means you skip the queues once you are there. The other advantage is if you have a wobble (what am I doing here alone? I feel lonely, sad, scared) you have a reason to get out and see something and it is ALWAYS worth it.
- I love to walk in new cities as you are never sure what you will see. However, being solo means you can sometimes try to do too much. I may not stop for a break as often as I would with a friend. Be kind to yourself. There’s nothing wrong with resting and enjoying your luxury accommodation for a few hours!
Remember, this is your holiday. Do what makes you happy. If that’s an afternoon reading a book in the local park – do it!